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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


How the Home Telephone Sparked the User-Centered Design Revolution
From ACM Opinion

How the Home Telephone Sparked the User-Centered Design Revolution

Have you ever thought about why doorknobs are positioned at around two-fifths of the door's height, instead of right in the middle? Or why a washing machine is...

Even Elusive Animals Leave DNA, and Clues, Behind
From ACM News

Even Elusive Animals Leave DNA, and Clues, Behind

You wouldn't think hellbenders would be hard to find: The gargantuan salamanders, the biggest amphibians in North America, can grow up to 30 inches long.

Feds Creating Facial Recognition App to Track College Classroom Attendance
From ACM TechNews

Feds Creating Facial Recognition App to Track College Classroom Attendance

A new facial recognition app will make checking attendance faster and easier for college professors. 

Microsoft Cracks Personalization Without Prying
From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Cracks Personalization Without Prying

A new algorithm developed by Microsoft researchers can eliminate user tracking in Web searches without the overheads of existing technology. 

Taking Steps to Power Wearable Tech
From ACM TechNews

Taking Steps to Power Wearable Tech

Next-generation wearable electronics could be powered by a device in footwear.

Lincoln Laboratory Hosts First 'Make Your Own Wearables' Workshop for High-School Girls
From ACM TechNews

Lincoln Laboratory Hosts First 'Make Your Own Wearables' Workshop for High-School Girls

Mechanical engineer Kristen Railey, founder of Girls Who Build, recently hosted a pilot workshop for high school girls at a federally funded research and development...

Telescope to Seek Dust Where Other Earths May Lie
From ACM News

Telescope to Seek Dust Where Other Earths May Lie

The NASA-funded Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, or LBTI, has completed its first study of dust in the "habitable zone" around a star, opening a new door...

Time to Change Global Clock Management? It's Under Debate
From ACM News

Time to Change Global Clock Management? It's Under Debate

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms
From ACM News

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms

Optimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are everywhere in engineering. Among other things, they're used to evaluate...

Improved Interface for a Quantum Internet
From ACM TechNews

Improved Interface for a Quantum Internet

University of Innsbruck researchers have improved an interface between quantum processors and optical fiber-based communication channels. 

Hands-On With Microsoft's Unbelievable New Holographic Goggles
From ACM Opinion

Hands-On With Microsoft's Unbelievable New Holographic Goggles

It's the end of October, when the days have already grown short in Redmond, Washington, and gray sheets of rain are just beginning to let up.

10 Cool Network and Computing Research Projects
From ACM News

10 Cool Network and Computing Research Projects

If you think the latest enterprise and consumer network and computer technologies rolling into your data center and being snuck into your offices by end users are...

ATLAS DRC Robot Is 75 Percent New, Completely Unplugged
From ACM News

ATLAS DRC Robot Is 75 Percent New, Completely Unplugged

We've always known that the ATLAS DRC humanoid robot was due for some serious upgrades before the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, because having a robot that's...

Astronomy: Laser Focus
From ACM News

Astronomy: Laser Focus

On clear, moonless evenings, most of the biggest optical telescopes around the world begin the night's observations by firing a golden laser beam at the sky.

Revealed at Last: Magic Leap’s Vision for Augmented Reality, in 32 Patent Illustrations
From ACM Careers

Revealed at Last: Magic Leap’s Vision for Augmented Reality, in 32 Patent Illustrations

A new patent application titled Planar Waveguide Apparatus with Diffraction Element(s) and System Employing Same sounds like a scientific snoozefest, but just also...

The New Digital Arms Race: NSA Preps America for Future Battle
From ACM TechNews

The New Digital Arms Race: NSA Preps America for Future Battle

Documents provided by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden outline the agency's efforts to carry out covert cyberwarfare. 

Microsoft Researchers Use Light Beams to Charge Smartphones
From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Researchers Use Light Beams to Charge Smartphones

Microsoft researchers in Beijing have developed AutoCharge, a prototype automatic wireless charging system for smartphones. 

Rice-Sized Laser, Powered One Electron at a Time, Bodes Well for Quantum Computing
From ACM TechNews

Rice-Sized Laser, Powered One Electron at a Time, Bodes Well for Quantum Computing

Princeton University researchers have developed a rice grain-sized laser powered by single electrons tunneling through artificial atoms known as quantum dots. 

How Does a Machine Smell? Better Than It Did
From ACM TechNews

How Does a Machine Smell? Better Than It Did

Researchers have developed a chemical sensor platform that can smell more accurately than humans. 
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